May: moving, milestones, and more!

Monday, May 20, 2013

This has been one busy month for all of us as we get ready to say goodbye to the desert.

My last spring of beautiful cactus blooms.

Paul and I have been doing what we can to get ready for our big move this summer. We received word months ago --before Avery was born-- that we would be moving to Japan this summer. "This summer" seemed like a far away, fictional time then, one that I couldn't really begin to think about since I was so wrapped up in preparing for Avery. Then she was born, and for weeks I operated on a very basic level: keep baby alive and happy, sleep and eat when you can. Planning for the future? Of course I planned for the future: the baby was going to wake up and need to eat in the next 20 minutes, and then she needed a bath! But beyond that....nada.

So when Paul recently started talking about out-processing from base and I did the mental math and realized that we only have 6 weeks left in Tucson...Shock! Panic! Disbelief! Why didn't someone warn me that we would be moving so soon?! The baby needs a passport! We need to sell the cars! We need to cancel our phones, internet, and satellite! Schedule movers, figure out what we are bringing and what we are putting in storage, deep clean the house, pack, visit the dentist, gather medical records, stock up on Costco wipes, eat Mexican food every day, study international road signs, learn Japanese! The hardest part about moving, of course, is that all the important stuff has to be done at the last minute. We can't sell our cars now, we need them until the day we leave; we can't cancel our phones, we use them daily; any cleaning we do will just get undone in the coming weeks. 

So I carry on as usual, making lists and scheduling what few things I can. Avery and I have both applied for our government passports, been medically cleared, and gotten the go-ahead from the dentist. I'm slowly sorting through our closets. Paul has been doing all the things he needs. It's totally crazy to think that we will be in a different country in two months, and completely overwhelming to think about doing it with a baby. Challenges include, but are surely not limited to: llong-term hotel stays on both sides of the ocean, approximately 15 hours in an airplane, not having a car when we get to Japan, not knowing how to drive on the left side of the road, and waiting several weeks to months for our things to arrive. The government will provide us with temporary furniture, which is great, but we will still be waiting on all the little things that make life easier for us, like Avery's bath, crib, baby gym, etc. And did I mention the time difference? This girl is FINALLY sleeping well at night (a six-hour stretch followed by a three-hour stretch), and now we have to go and switch night and day? Insanity. 

It is a darn good thing we are moving to a tropical paradise. 
Yeah. I will stop complaining now.
Overlooking the short-term challenges, I am SO excited to live in Japan. The islands of Okinawa are gorgeous. Do a Google Image search and you'll see. I cannot wait to go scuba diving and boating, to walk along the beach, to play in the waves with Avery, to eat fresh seafood, to travel around the region, and so much more. We have heard nothing but wonderful things about living on Okinawa, and are beyond excited about our up-coming adventure.

Meanwhile, we are enjoying our remaining weeks in Tucson...and in America, for that matter! We are revisiting all our favorite restaurants, stocking up on things we have heard are hard to find overseas, and, of course, enjoying our sweet baby girl.
Yellow duck is her favorite friend
He tells funny stories.

 Avery is developing so fast. She is super active -- more so than average, I think. She naps rarely, moves constantly, and is always happy. Yesterday she took one 30-minute nap and two 15-min snoozes, but was a perfectly cheerful baby all day anyway. Changing her diaper or outfit is nearly impossible for all of her movement; she gets all four limbs moving at top speed, while twisting this way and that, panting and making funny noises. She can roll from her back to her side no problem, and tummy time is hardly a stationary activity.

About a week ago, she discovered her hands, and they are simply the coolest!! She spent a few days just studying her hands, and then moved on to her feet, which are even cooler! For a few days, eating and sleeping were the only times that she didn't have one or both feet in her hands. Then yesterday she figured out she can get her hands in her mouth! Super fun! Today she has been stuffing her blankets into her mouth and slobbering all over them. Does life get any better?

"You mean to tell me that I've had these hands this whole time??"
She also started laughing this weekend. My heart absolutely melts into a big pile of gooey love every time she does it.

She also thinks she is ready to sit up. When we try to recline her, she just holds her head up and does baby crunches and fusses until we sit her up. If she is reclined at a 45 degree angle, she can lurch herself forward into a sitting position (and then tip sideways). All she needs to sit up is to hold our fingers, sometimes only in one hand. She is very pleased with herself, and will sit up as long as we let her. Her head control is great, and she can sit up without any support for decent periods of time before tipping sideways. With the boppy around her she lasts even longer.

And of course she is still a talker. Vowel sounds are so yesterday, and she has moved on to a few favorite consonants. She likes to say "bububub," "agoo," and "google." Yes, google. We don't know what it means, but surely it is an indication of genius, right?


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